Philip Humber was a mess following his perfect game on April 21, posting a 7.47 ERA in 10 starts before the White Sox finally shut him down with a strained elbow in mid-June.
Now he’s on the verge of returning from the disabled list, throwing six innings of shutout, two-hit ball last night at Double-A in his third minor-league rehab start.
Humber struck out five, walked zero, and set down the final 16 hitters he faced, looking good enough that Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that he could be cleared to rejoin the White Sox’s rotation as soon as Tuesday versus the Red Sox, in Boston.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.
Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.
Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.